The Let's Play Archive

MegaMan Starforce

by GeneralYeti, giver336

Part 19: Checks and Balances

Remember, Shepar might have some unorthodox ideas, but his boss did just threaten to fire him because he won't deliberately drive up the tuition cost. What I'm saying is, this game does an okay job of presenting awkward situations, but it could do better on some of the execution.

: ...aimed at raising test grades. But... If I got fired...

: What will happen to my kids? Where will I get the money to raise them? I have a duty as a father... But...

: I don't want to raise kids who can't do anything except study. Aaah!

I mean, I feel bad for the guy, but also he has seven kids. How the hell was he affording that on a teacher's salary?

Cyber utopias have...good benefits?

: What a dilemma, I'd say.

Ah. Well, shit.

: It doesn't really matter who I am. Isn't your problem much more important?

It's hard to see, but the Scales is floating up and down.

: ...I was having problems...?

Sometimes, this game has weird decisions with its textboxes. That being said, Shepar just immediately accepts the fact that he's talking to an alien.

That's a running issue here. I suppose you could make the argument that they look just like any other EM Wave Being and thus not out of place. But then you have to make the logical leap of not caring when you're being spied on.

: Oh... Yes, I'm in a real pickle. Should I go with my ideals, or be more realistic?
: You don't even need to weigh that one. The answer is obvious. You should pick what's most stable for you and stick with the people in charge.
: But!!
: Look at it this way. Haven't you been kinda unhappy at this school?
: Th-That's!

Unrelated to the drama currently unfolding, but for the longest time I parsed Libra's icon (shhh) as huge ears with a red background, not the weird centurion helmet feather thing on its head with a blue background.

"What is with that guy...?" "...Things more important than textbooks? Bah." "Our job is to teach what's in the books." "Isn't he only trying to be hip with the kids?"

I actually read that as textboxes for a minute. I blame Yeti.

Hello, fellow kids.

: You feel like other teachers give you the cold shoulder, don't you?
: How do you know about that?
: It's the fate of all idealists.
: Wh-What should I do...?
: I think you have an Earth saying that goes, "The nail that sticks up gets hammered down." Sounds like that's what's happening, no? It's a smart way of doing things, I'd say. Heh heh heh.

Remember, don't make waves. Don't stand out. Just follow orders.

My star sign is a dick.

Surely nothing is going to go wrong.

We could take a detour here and do some Wave world stuff, but there's no point at the moment. Unless I wanted to go try to get HarpNote's extra Mega cards, but I can do that later.

: Hurry up and sit down.

: Oh, OK...

: (That's odd... It's not like the bell's rung yet...)

: Wha-? But the bell hasn't rung yet.
: There will be no talking in class.
: Huh? ...Oh, sorry.
: Much better. Also, starting today, we will be using the Study Wave.
: *mumble mumble*
: Why all of a sudden...?
: Is there a problem?
: N-No...

Surely nothing is going wrong. It's unrelated to the alien that showed up, and Shepar had no reaction to.

Perhaps he's just having problems at home.

: ...Hey!

Hey let's have fun transcribing this shit. Ugh.

: Ugh, this doesn't feel good at all. More like it's forcing its way into my head.
: Hey, Geo. Put on your Visualizer for a sec.
: Um, OK. ...Here we go.

: ...everyone's head. Is that the Study Wave?
: It's not a very pleasant wave, is it?
: Huh? What do you mean?
: I don't think they're good for the human body.

: (What a terrible and quiet class we had today, all because of that Study Wave. It's totally different from yesterday.)

Welcome back to school, Geo.

Yeti, fight me after school. Gonna kick your butt for this awful class.

: This is boring.

: Listen! Classes do NOT need to be fun!! Grades are what's important! You must raise your test scores and grades!! Higher higher, higher! Higher, higher, higher!!!

A flash of white, and...


: Aaaaaaaaaah!!
: Nnnnngh!!

Is this our substitute teacher?

: He's here!!

: I have no need for ideals. It became crystal clear to me last night what is really important. Study Wave, continue your broadcast!!

: Aaaaah!!

: Ack, I'm going dizzy from all the numbers!!

Bud actually starts at 1x1 again, all the way up to 1x9. I like the implication that he had math class for an hour and still never got past his 1x multiplication tables.

: I'm losing... Domo arigato. Domo arigato. Domo arigato. ...myself... Help... Someone...

I wonder what the original foreign language was here. Probably English.

: ...Hey.
: I understand. I won't waver from my path.

Shepar here is constantly tilting left and right, balancing the fire and the water tornado. It's small, but it's a nice touch that the scales are in flux.

: Hey, Geo!! Snap out of it!!
: Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere...
: Tsk! He's lost himself completely. That weird wave's got him. Guess I've got no choice. Geo! If you can hear me, clench your teeth!


Good job, Mega. A round of applause for still being the best character in the game! Let's give him a hand, everyone.

Hands in the air for ArmNavi!

: Huh? What am I doing here? And why does my cheek hurt?
: You back to being you?
: Mega, do you have something to do with my face...?
: No time for that! We've gotta go get that guy from before! That was Libra, the FM-ian of balance.
: Do I have to do this?
: Is there anyone else? Besides, you're a hero, aren't you?
: I can't believe even you're saying that...

Aaaand Geo is back to being a coward and a wimp. So much for the character development he showed in Sonia's chapter.

This actually makes sense when you consider that people tend to backslide a lot during their growth. Especially for someone as introverted as Geo. You can make an introverted more extroverted, but they will still generally prefer to keep to themselves, and consider it somewhat exhausting.

And cut the music.

Um. How is he up and walking? Geo had to get punched and didn't seem like he was aware of anything.

: What a mess. What happened to the teach?
: Are you OK?
: ......Yeah. Weird, huh?
: Yeah, but I'm glad you're OK.
: It looks like everyone's in danger. You've gotta hurry and stop the Study Wave.
: But how?
: The Study Wave's controls are in the studio. The teach probably went there too.
: The studio... OK, got it.

Right, well. We can worry about Pat being weird later. We've gotta go help things out.

You keep doing your stuff, Bud. Maybe you'll get to the 2x tables at some point.

Don't give him hope.

: Survival of the fittest, killing 2 birds with 1 stone, surrounded on all sides, total confusion. Oh, my head!

Even the teachers are affected. Which is interesting that Geo's fine to walk around now, since clearly it affects people that are just standing around, not in their seats.

Perhaps ArmNavi is affording more protection than we first realized.

: The Study Wave probably caused a malfunction!

H-How did a wave cause a mechanical - wait, no, this is the Starforce world, they probably have the elevator run by waves or something.

I'd help, but I didn't bring my wrench EM wave.

Anyway, that door we couldn't go in at the beginning, at the end of the 2nd floor hallway? That's the Studio.

: Well, well, a bad kid running from class, I see.
: Why are you doing this to us all of a sudden?
: There's nothing to explain to you. It's a grown-up's problem. All I can say is... I will make this a top-ranked school. That is all.
: ...Then... Then the things you said before were all lies? What happened to "there are other things that are important outside of school and books..."?

Remember, this was one of Geo's biggest reasons to come back to school. The thought that maybe this teacher is different. And now, he's turned out to be a liar the very next day. (Granted he's possessed by an alien right now so.)

: Get a grip. You're losing the precious balance you had.
: You don't need to worry. ...By the way, Geo, how is it that you can move about freely? ...Oh, I get it. The Study Wave isn't on strong enough. In that case...

: And this time, I'll control it from in here!

: Argh, they went inside the Comp. Then, we've gotta pulse in. Put on your Visualizer, Geo.

: There aren't any waveholes here.
: We're gonna have to pulse in from somewhere else. Let's get outta here and look for a wavehole.

Before we do that, let's explore around a bit. This is a good use of our time mid-crisis.

I can't sleep when I want to know something.

Can we just break the machine?

But he's really honking huge.

Stupid flicker effects.

I wanna go in and take a look, but I bet some teacher will get mad if I do.

Cut out your slip-ups so no one will see.

I genuinely can't tell the difference between Yeti and the game. It must be the Study Wave.

A goodie!

I think I had something like 400 HP by this point when I originally played. Grind, grind, grind, baby.

Looks like the VCRs aren't on. Do you want to turn them on?

Ignore that it was there during the wide shot. Temporal shenanigans.

Perhaps you should have cut out that slip up.

And like before, it's time to pulse in. Good thing there's a wave hole here, and nobody is here to watch us disappear since they're all too busy with the Study Wave.


Just gotta get to the Studio; conveniently, the entrance is the same in the wave world as it is in the real world, and - uh oh. Cutscene.

: What now?
: Pat wasn't in the classroom...

I didn't bring it up, but go back up a few images. He's not there.

: What if something happened to him?
: You can think about it all you want, but you can't do a thing about him right now. We've gotta focus on beating Libra first.
: ...Yeah.

: That voice!

This guy. Maybe this time we'll be able to actually do damage to him.

It's impossible to damage him. He's a goon. He's already brain-damaged.

Look you're posting on SA too, buddy.

: Hmph! We've got our hands full with Libra, and now we've gotta deal with him!?
: ...*grin*
: Hey, what's your deal, punk!? You working for Libra!?
: ......You won't get away this time.
: Here he comes! Get ready, Geo!

Geo kinda shuffles backwards a step. I know it's hard to see.

: ...I-I can't. I can't win... Because I lost last time.
: Don't be stupid, kid!
: B-But...
: What about your friends!?

: I don't want to get hurt... I hate pain...
: ...... Are you done?

Jammer is just having none of Geo's shit.

: Ah!
: Take this!!

: Not good!!
: ...*squeeze*
: I-It hurts so much! I-I can't take much more...! I'm gonna... faint...

Aw, beans. Geo whited out, and now he has to scurry back to a pokemon center.

There goes a percentage of our money.

: Oh, I get it. That guy must've sent me here...
: Hey, you're not that far gone. Is it supposed to be this empty...?
: Geo...

: After coming all this way, are you giving up?
: That shadow...
: It's that guy from before!!
: You are not this weak. Of this we are sure.
: You keep talking about my power. But what in the world can I do about anything??
: Will you truly give up here? Can you not hear them? The voices that cry out for you.
: Voices?

The ones that you hear that nobody else does, you know. The ones that tell you to kill your family.

Remember kids, always listen to the voices in your head. They know you better than you know yourself!

: Huh?
: ...elp.

Nah I'm just kidding, it's Luna.

: Help us, MegaMan...
: Luna...

: Stop! Please, don't put me in any more danger! I'm not that strong! I'm not a hero! I'm... I'm just an ordinary, weak elementary kid. So...

I'm glad that he's aware of all this. It's a nice difference from Lan. Still, this is a Battle Network game, and that means the power of friendship will spur our hero into action.


: She will believe until the bitter end.
: Nngh...
: I ask once more. Geo, will you give up here?
: ...... ...I... ... I want to protect... That girl that believes in me...

And now time for the game's theme song. It's the dramatic power up everyone has been waiting for.

: Finally those words pass your lips. If you fight for someone important to you, your strength becomes unrivaled. That is the mark of a "human".
: Fighting for someone...?
: The preparations are complete! The power of the stars, the Star Force, is now accessible to you!

Sometimes the cutscenes go on too long. This is one of them. Should have just been "I want to protect her!" followed immediately by "Fuck yeah here's your cool powerup, now go beat up that Jammer".

Instead we have a magical shrinking horse.

(Whoops, the screen is shaking)

: Where is that power coming from...!?
: I'll... I'll protect her!!
: Gnnnnngh!!
: Just watch me!
: I-Impossible!
: Aaaaaaaaaaarrrh!!

A flash of white, and...

: *huff huff*

Alright, that's pretty sick.

:getin: Abuse freezing and break combos.

: Whoooa!!
: This is the Star Force! With this, I can beat him!!
: ...Interesting.
: This time... I won't lose!!

Alright, time to learn how the new powerup works.

: to explain. While you are transformed, the number of cards you may pick increases. No longer are you limited to cards of the same column, but you may now pick of the same row, and your charged shot will now freeze your foe. It is an attack called Ice Slash.
: Lastly, the Star Force Big Bang, or SFB.
: Star Force Big Bang?
: It is a powerful attack which utilizes the power of my Satellite. To use the SFB, you must first perform a Counter. The Bonus Card which comes from that will change into an SFB Battle Card as long as you continue to be in your Star Force form. All you must do is press the A Button, and the SFB will fire down upon your enemies.
: The SFB is a ferocious power and you should try to obtain it, but only when it is possible. Use it wisely, and it will be a great asset.

Like all good Megaman GBA games, we get someone to explain how the new form works.

Summarized, since I won't blame anyone if they want to skip it:
- You can pick cards in the same row or the same column. White cards are still free picks.
- Charge shot is Ice Slash; deals water-element damage and freezes enemies for a short time.
- Counters become Star Force Big Bang, a powerful time-freezing card.
- Unmentioned but still valid: Megaman takes double-damage from Elec attacks, and getting hit by one will knock you out of Pegasus mode.

: Now, focus on the enemy before you.
: Got it! OK, let's go!

An example of Ice Slash in action. Unfortunately, the charge speed is very slow and the freeze doesn't last very long.

An on-demand freezing buster is very, very strong. The long windup and low uptime are counterbalances. But even still, if you have a well-times Break-elemental chip ready... that's still gobs of damage.

Also unfortunately, the JammerG can't be countered and so I'll be showing off the SFB later. Probably against Libra Scales.

: I'll get you for this!

Now that I can actually HIT him, I make pretty short work of him.

You might also notice my max HP is higher. That's because now that we hit a(n arbitrary) story beat, Sonia's BrotherBand is granting an additional 10 HP. Neat.

We don't get to stay in Star Force mode, sadly.

: What a power. With this, we can beat anyone!
: Yeah... This is all thanks to her.

: I got stronger because of you. Now it's my turn. I'll protect you... Count on it!!

Luna did nothing! But at least he's ready to rock now.

Yeti. Your puns are now starting to mirror mine. Now you understand the power of puns.

: OK, now to head for the studio!!

: Mega... Man...?

Also like usual in these games, we get an email reviewing the tutorial. Wall of text time:

: If you choose the Star Force card you put into your folder from the Custom Screen, you will instantly be changed into Ice Pegasus MegaMan. If you have a Brother who is registered on a Satellite other than Pegasus, you can choose to use the Star Force of that Brother too. As Ice Pegasus MegaMan, you will possess the power of Aqua and can attack your enemies with Ice Slash. But, an Elec attack will do twice the damage and revert you back into MegaMan.
: While you are transformed, the number of cards you may pick increases. No longer are you limited to cards of the same column, but you may now pick of the same row. One more thing. Normally, when a Counter is performed, a Bonus Card will appear. However, while you are transformed, it will change into a Star Force Big Bang, or SFB. Ice Pegasus' SFB is Magician's Freeze! It is an attack where a giant magic circle shoots large spikes of ice up into your foes.
: Use the Pegasus Star Force well, and it will help you protect those you love.

And here's the Star Force card itself. Very cool. As the email mentioned, if you have a Brother (I think in-game Brothers work too but I know for a fact that real Brothers do this) instead of the roulette you can pick to use their card as the Star Force from their Satellite. So, become Leo or Dragon Star Force form.


This chapter here, with the Satellite Admins, is really the only major difference between the different game versions aside from the Giga card list. And even then, the only difference is which Satellite Admin you fight, and what form MegaMan gets.

Naturally, in Leo, you fight Leo Kingdom and get the Leo Starforce, and in Dragon you fight Dragon Sky and get the Dragon Starforce. I'll go into a little more detail about the differences once we actually take a look at the Starforce in battle.


Yeti's Astronomy Corner

The FM-ian causing trouble this time is Libra, based off of the Libra, the Scales constellation. Interestingly, Libra wasn't always considered a separate constellation; for a while, they were considered to be the Claws of Scorpio.

As the Scales, they're usually associated with balance and fairness. As it turns out, the sun usually enters this constellation during the autumnal equinox, making night and day balanced. The brightest stars in the constellation aren't named anything interesting; they're just Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Sigma Librae.

Libra is also one of the Zodiac signs, like Taurus and unlike Cygnus and Lyra. It covers the dates from September 23rd to October 23rd, coming after Virgo and before Scorpio. People born under this star sign are thought to be intelligent and value harmony, always looking at the big picture. Sometimes, they can be perfectionists about some things and self-indulgent in their tastes. (Or, in other words, 'regular people'...)